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Friday, July 9, 2010

Why blog?


I started blogging in January of 2010 becuase I had something to say about Haiti.
I had some beef with how the philanthropic community was (not) responding to the devastation of the earthquake there.

I was pretty disturbed, but I'm so glad to have found blogging as a
relief
resource
rejuvenation.

Now, I blog a lot more often and around a lot more than just philanthropy.

I blog to:
1. meet interesting poeple all around the world
2. inspire (and be inspired by) creative humans (especially women!) doing their THANG
3. see beautiful things, places, ideas, and people conveniently
4. get my stuff out there (writing, experiences, expertise) so that it could have the energy to  possibly
lead to something bigger
5. help me lead a more interesting, provacative, and adventurous life
(I used to say I wanted to live a life worth writing a book about.
Now I say, I'm living a life worth blogging about!!!!)
What came out raw has blossomed into something lovely.
Many thanks to all the beautiful bloggers
(and upcoming ones too, Missy!)
who inspire me.

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ciao y'all!
a

Chasing love...even if it lands me in Italy....


For the first installation of some romantic story telling and sharing, I was stoked that my girl Jeaneen agreed to post. Here she tells her lovely story about how she found her soulmate............across the BIG pond.
So here I am 13 years old and I had my whole life figured out! I was going to get out of here some way somehow and the only way I could figure out how to do that was to get educated. I was going to do well in school, go to college for art, move to Florida and become a designer. I would have laughed in your face if you told me that I was going to live in Italy and marry an Italian, but believe it or not that is exactly what happened.

10 years later
I have 12 more months before I graduate from college. I’m so proud of myself for keeping my promise. I was so proud that I should give myself a gift. I should take a nice vacation to “Somewhere in Europe”. So finally after sitting there looking at Google map, I’d finally decided that I would visit Italy. I have so many questions, what are the people like? Where can I go that is not so cliché? Who can I talk to about Italy? For some odd reason I’d decided the best way to find someone is to use MySpace. So I stumbled upon this Italian guy who would like to meet all the citizens of the world, hear their stories and learn a lot from them. I had so many questions to ask this Italian guy but instead what did I write him… a chain letter that was sent to me from one of my crazy friends. Of course he thought I was spam, but after we got over that hump we’ve decided to chat online. Our chatting about culture, food and lifestyle turned into sharing goals, aspirations and emotions we could not fight off anymore. We could talk about anything serious, to intense or just being out right stupid.

After two months of sharing our feelings, I’d stopped dating other guys. I could not sleep without hearing this Italian guy’s voice. I could not focus, if I went to dinner with another guy I would always watch my clock and wonder what time will I get home, so I could talk to someone across the ocean that was much more interesting to me than this hot eye candy in front of me. LOL! It was clear to me that I had feelings for this Italian guy, but I felt like I needed to hold on to reality. GET A GRIP! He is across the ocean, you haven’t gone out with this guy, you haven’t seen him before, and you haven’t touched him. We’ve never went on a date. While half of my brain is screaming out loud what an idiot you are the other half is playing that ridiculous song by Zapp “Computer Love”

You know I've been searching for someone
Who can share that special love with me
And your eyes have that glow
Could it be your face I see on my computer screen!!!


I resisted so hard not telling him how I felt, because when you do, they always run from you. Then I thought to myself, where the hell will he run...offline!

Eventually, he said those magical words “I love you” and I almost fell off my bed with relief. Finally, I can tell him how I feel. After three months of online chats, I’ve decided that my gift to myself will be to visit this Italian guy in March for Spring Break...

To be continued…

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Online Dating - Catching the Big Fish!


July's cross-border romance theme continues......
I moved to Canada in April 2009 and was having the hardest time meeting people (men, particularly in Ottawa). I was in grocery stores, lounges, book stores, coffee shops, churches, parks, and it took me months to realize that men don't court ladies here like they do in the golden south.

No genuinely sweet compliments from gentlemen passing by. No smooth approaches to share some friendly conversation over a drink. No flattering stares from across the room, street, bus, or aisle. As Canada's capital, Ottawa is a government town, so guys that'd be in my target audience (age, intellect, goals, etc.) are either:
  1. Settled with familes
  2. Interning (not that this is a bad thing - it's just that the career is the only reason they'd be in town, and they wouldn't be likely to stay....)
  3. Too involved with politics to pick up what I'm puttin' down

So........I decided to go online to find my guy. At first, I bought a subscription to Blacksingles.com, and that was just AWFUL! The guys were old, too hood to be any good, and baby's daddies 2 or 3 times over. Not the cream of the crop.

After hearing from some friends about other popular options, I tried Plenty of Fish, and I WAS HOOKED!!!! So POF is international, and there are soooooooo many folks on here - it was so much fun to meet so many eligible gents - that were HERE, in OTTAWA! I would've never known.

So many friends tell me that they are too fearful to try it...insecure about who might be reading their most intimate details, and just not ready to make that leap into dating subculture.

Ladies, if you're single, and don't want to be, please....please give this a try. I was a bit nervous about it at first, but when I realized that you can put just enough info out there to bait the hook, I landed the biggest fish, and it was soooooooo worth it!

It's not really online dating....because the online stuff is just the start. It's more like online choosing - you choose the person you want to date from a pool of guys that are already interested in you. To me, it's the absolute best because it's free (in most cases), convenient, and you don't have to wear your cutest dress and most painful shoes only to be disappointed at the end of an evening of meeting the wrong kind of guys.

I crafted my profile very carefully - it took a few rounds, but I finally got it right. I wanted to talk about me but still leave some mystery, know what I mean? So I tried to describe my priorities, my life, and myself in terms of something I love: travel!

After fishing for about 2 months (filled with fun and exciting dating!), I met the Polar Bear. We exchanged messages on the site for a week or so before we graduated to the phone. After another week, we went out on our first date, and it was a wrap after that! We've been together for eight months now (still learning great things about each other!), and I'm really happy. Really happy - and it's not just romance. It's the partnership, mutual concern for each other's well being, and commitment to adding to each other's happiness.

Before the online discovery, I was just out there - not knowing what to look for, and surely not knowing what it could look like. Online dating sites open the door to so many possibilities - for my single ladies, I hope you'll give it a try - I cosign on this one!!!

ciao y'all!
A

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Top 10 Things I'm looking forward to this Summer


  1. Fruit being in season, cheaper, and very delicious. I'm in a fitness and nutrition challenge, and eating 5 fruits and veggies is one of my daily goals. I was never a huge fan of eating fruits (they're high maintenance - think cantaloupes; and messy - think oranges). Since it's been a focus lately, though, I've done a 180! I really like bananas (so convenient) and I'm getting hip to honeydew.
  2. Breezy afternoons on the deck, patio, gazebo, front stoop, terrace, fire escape, or swing. I do miss my South Carolina porch, but finding space anywhere outside will do:)
  3. Caribana 2010 in Toronto. Plus, the boyf is taking me to see Marshal Montana! yayyay!
  4. Roadtripping. Just finished the first one from San Francisco to LA with Mom, and I can't wait for the next one!
  5. BBQ's - It's a toasty 93 degrees in Ottawa, so we may have to postpone till a cooler evening comes by.
  6. Outdoor festivals. I missed Montreal's Jazz Festival, but I'm headed to Toronto's Afrofest this weekend:)
  7. Working out more. While most folks aim to be in shape for summer, I'm aiming to get in better shape during summer. Here's the thing - during winter, it was too cold to do anything outside, so what did I do everyday after work? Head to the gym. Now that it's summer, it's too hot to do anything outside, so what will I do everyday after work? Head to the gym!
  8. Low maintenance dressing. Summer is the absolute best time to search out 10 great frocks and rock 'em nonstop. I'm short and curvy, so putting together separates is always a challenge for me. Once I find a dress that complements my frame (and in a beautiful coral or cerulean color), deciding what to wear is no longer an issue.
  9. Playing outside. Contrary to #6, when the weather is lovely, playing frisbee or rollerblading outside is such a summer blast. Top it off with a snow cone, and it's on!
  10. Sweet Tea. Y'all know that in certain Southeastern places, you can roll into any Denny's, Outback, Red Lobster, Waffle House, or Ruths' Chris Steakhouse and order a tea....and you know how it'll come out. I've got to boil my own here in Canada, but there's no better time than now!

Happy Summer!

Ciao y'all!

A

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

#6 Eye Candy


William Raymond Norwood Jr. - I'm not a fan at ALL, but, please, take a look at the link here to see why he's my candy today:)

Gorgeous skin.
Manicured with a capital M.
Beautifully rich complexion.

Overall rating (1-10): A hesitant 7 (Aside from the disappointment a few years back with the video, he just may have a chance to rebound in my book. He's just got to keep up this level of class :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer of Love


Hey folks!

It's been an amazing two weeks of travel, family, wonder, and adventure. Mom and I traveled to California, and pics and posts will be on the way!

In the mean and in-between time, I'm really excited to introduce the topic of the month (May was about $$$ and June was about balance. This summer, love has come to me, and I think love, romance, and all the variations of courting make a fun topic to chat about for July.

I've shared bits and pieces about the budding romance in my life with the Polar Bear, and while I'm sure we've got enough ups and downs to write a novella, I wanted to take a deeper look into love.....and to be specific.....cross-border love. Since my honey and I have passports from different countries, it makes our situation a bit more "special."

Our situation doesn't involve crossing oceans or switching continents, so I called on some close friends to lend their stories for the month. These ladies' commitment to love has made me more faithful in romance, (good) men, and the search for love. One moved all the way to Italy to be with her Computer Love, and the other moved to Mexico to make a lifetime of albums with her photographer hubby.

They'll be sharing their stories throughout the month, so be sure to check in!

Ciao y'all!
a

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